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Updated: 11/07/2013 08:00:00AM

Plans set for Veterans Day observances

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Retired Highlands County Veteran Services Officer Joseph A. Dionne with the Howitzer he helped obtain for display at the Veterans Services Office in Sebring. Dionne will be the guest of honor at a Veteran's Day parade Monday in downtown Sebring.


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A 12:30 p.m. parade Monday in downtown Sebring will be the centerpiece of a Veterans Day celebration coordinated by the Veterans Council of Highlands County, Inc.

Retired Highlands County Veteran Services Officer Joseph A. Dionne has been chosen to serve as parade marshal. A graduate of Lake Placid High School, Dionne retired from the U.S. Army as a sergeant major before returning to Highlands County. He worked with the Highlands County Veterans Services Office for many years before his retirement three years ago.

The staging area for participants is near the American Legion Post 74 on Pine Street. The route is from Pine Street to North Ridgewood, heading around the historic Circle to South Commerce where the parade will end at the Government Center complex. Organizations, individuals, those with floats or antique cars wanting to participate in the parade should contact Rick Ingler, President of the Veterans Council.

A ceremony on the courthouse lawn will follow. The speaker will be Lt. Col. Gary Pigman, Florida House Representative, who recently returned from Army Reserve deployment.

An entire weekend of events is being planned to recognize veterans. “The Nov. 11 weekend should be dedicated to the veterans of Highlands County, not just Monday, Nov. 11,” said John Vincent, from American Legion Post 74.

Ingler is encouraging veteran organizations that have planned or are planning an event for the weekend of Nov. 8-11 to contact him at 863-273-5182 or by email at

“Events from other veteran organizations could become a part of an even larger event, helping everyone,” Ingler said.

Remembrance at SFSC

A Veterans Day Remembrance ceremony to honor all military veterans will be held Monday at 10:45 a.m. at the flagpole on the South Florida College Highlands Campus. The public is invited to attend.

The program will includes opening welcome by SFSC president Dr. Thomas Leitzel and remarks by SFSC student veterans and Rep. Cary Pigman. The program will conclude with a Remembrance Walk along the SFSC campus.

VFW open house

Lake Placid VFW Post 3880 has a weekend of events planned for Veteran’s Day, culminating with a Monday open house and barbecue dinner.

Events will open with a poppy drive Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at several Lake Placid locations. Friday night will feature “steak by the ounce” in the post home, complete with live music. A breakfast buffet will be available for $7 Saturday morning from 8 to 11. Bingo will be Saturday afternoon and Sunday will feature a poker tournament starting at 1:30 p.m.

Monday’s open house in observance of Veteran’s Day will see the post open to the public all day with snacks served during the afternoon. Meals of barbecued ribs, potato bar and dessert will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for a $10 donation. Music will be by Lou & Conie from 5:30 to 9 p.m. For more information call 863-699-5444.

Donations of nonperishable food will be accepted at the VFW open house. The food will be given to the Veterans Council of Highlands County to be distributed to needy veterans in the area.

The VFW post is at 1224 County Road 621 East, Lake Placid.

Heartland Pops

The Heartland Pops concert band, under the direction of Anthony Jones, will present a free Veteran’s Day concert at 7 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of Sebring. Guest conductor will be Commander Allen Beck, U.S. Navy Band (retired). An accomplished clarinetist, clinician and conductor, he makes his home in Melbourne with wife Gail.

The concert band will feature new patriotic selections, marches, vocal arrangements and an audience participation singalong.

There is no admission but donations will be accepted and shared with the church. For more information call 863-314-8877.

“We Honor Veterans”

Cornerstone Hospice invites the community to Lake Placid Health Care Center, 125 Tomoka Blvd. South, for a 10 a.m. ceremony Monday to honor veterans. The goal is to honor veterans from the community. Those who wish to be honored should call 863-633-8143 before the close of business Thursday. Include full name, telephone number and branch of service.

Several years ago Cornerstone Hospice joined the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs for the pioneering program “We Honor Veterans,” focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment of our nation’s veterans called We Honor Veterans.

Busy Saturday

Four events have been planned for Saturday in recognition of Veteran’s Day. The Tommy McGuire Golf Tournament, hosted by the Sebring Chamber of Commerce will tee-off at 7:30 a.m. at the Highlands Ridge north program; followed at 10 a.m. by a wreath dedication at Veterans Beach in Sebring. The wreath dedication will be presented by Chapter 601 of Military Order of the Purple Heart. An All Veterans Poker Run will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at American Legion Post 74 in Sebring, hosted by the post’s Legion Riders. Rounding out Saturday’s events will be a 2 p.m. car show on the historic Circle in downtown Sebring, hosted by Sebring Cruisers.

Salute To Veterans dance

The Pine Ridge Promenaders Square Dance Club will host a “Salute to Veterans” dance Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Sunshine RV Resort on State Road 70, south of Lake Placid. Sam Dunn will be calling.

This dance is the first of the season for the Pine Ridge Promenaders and features a finger food buffet. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call Marianne at 863-699-9959.